Stingers Pick Up Crucial Points in Tight Playoff Race
Concordia 4 UQTR 3
Nicholas Champion made 35 saves and Michael Blundon scored the overtime winner as the Stingers defeated the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes 4-3 in a closely contested game on Jan. 25.
Charles-Antoine Messier and Eric Begin had two assists apiece and Adam Strumas, Eric Bouchard, and Alexandre Monahan provided the rest of the scoring for the Stingers.
The Stingers were outshot 38-26 by the Patriotes, but Champion stood tall and kept his squad in it long enough to get the game to overtime and allowing Blundon to seal the victory.
“In overtime, anything can happen,” said Blundon. “The puck came back to me at the point and my intention was to just put the puck on net and hope for the best. Luckily it went in and we got the much needed two points from the victory.”
The Patriotes came out of the gates flying, taking an early 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game on a goal by forward Pierre-Alexandre Joncas. Strumas replied for Concordia, beating UQTR goaltender Guillaume Nadeau midway through the first period. Joncas put his second of the game past Champion with five minutes left in the frame.
Monahan scored the lone goal of the second period while the Stingers were killing a tripping penalty on Roberto Mormina, who spent a total of 14 minutes in the penalty box, 12 of which stemmed from a check from behind that earned him a ten-minute game misconduct to go along with the initial minor penalty for the check.
The lack of discipline didn’t affect the Stingers, though, as the penalty-kill was perfect on the night, killing off all five penalties they were assessed.
The teams exchanged third-period goals, with Bouchard tying the game with less than 10 minutes remaining in the final frame. Blundon capped off the win with his overtime goal just over a minute into the extra period.
Blundon noted that the Jan. 25 game was beneficial for the Stingers as they look to secure one of the eight playoff positions available.
“Last night was a crucial win for us because the standings are really tight this year,” said Blundon. “We entered the game in ninth place and that win pushed us up into seventh. With four games left in our season, it’s going to be essential to pick up as many points as we can in order to solidify a playoff position.”
The Stingers have since slipped to eighth. They have a tough test this Friday as they cross town to take on the McGill Redmen, a team that has only lost twice in regulation this season. The action takes place at the McConnell arena at 7:00 p.m.
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